Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.45
Liaison Bambi Ingram
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alabama at Birmingham
IN-9: Green Laboratories

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Nick Ciancio
Sustainability Program Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution’s green laboratory program address the following?:
Yes or No
Energy conservation and efficiency, e.g. fume hood ("shut the sash") and freezer maintenance programs Yes
Water conservation and efficiency Yes
Chemical use and disposal Yes
Materials management, e.g. green purchasing guidelines and recycling and reuse programs Yes
Training for lab users on sustainable practices Yes

A brief description of the green laboratory program, including the specific initiatives selected above:
The goal of the UAB Green Labs Program is to reduce the use of energy, water, material goods, and hazardous chemicals in UAB laboratories without compromising research integrity or safety. UAB is one of the nation’s elite research-intensive universities, ranked 22nd nationally (10th among public universities) in NIH funding. UAB is also the state’s largest single-site employer, supporting one of every 33 jobs statewide, with an annual economic impact of more than $5 billion on Alabama. Consequently, UAB is also the largest electricity user in the state and generates nearly 6,000 tons of landfill waste annually. UAB Green Labs is a voluntary program designed to assist lab leadership in implementation of efficiency measures to reduce environmental and economic costs without sacrificing research quality, safety standards, or comfort and productivity of lab staff. UAB Sustainability has partnered with UAB Occupational Health and Safety in implementing this program in order to maximize safety. The program serves the dual purpose of instituting sustainable practices and recognizing participants for their efforts. The program provides generalized guidelines which are applicable to a multitude of facilities with the hope that researchers may innovate and evolve additional practices based on their unique set of circumstances. Lab participants will work with UAB Sustainability, UAB Occupational Health and Safety, and UAB Research to evaluate the efficacy of different approaches to lab sustainability and will have a strong voice in determining the best sustainability options for specific kinds of labs at UAB. Labs who complete the program will be recognized with a rating and associated logo to be used on websites, grant proposals, lab door, etc., as well as public recognition for completion. The individual selected to be the Green Lab Representative will gain additional experience with lab management, facilities operations, purchasing, and regulatory structures associated with lab research. The certification process is intended to build a stronger sense of ownership and a team approach to lab research and resource management for the lab’s faculty, staff, and students. How to Become a UAB Green Lab Member The PI selects someone in the lab to be the Green Lab Representative. This can be the PI, lab manager, lab tech, post doc, or graduate student. Undergraduates may not be Lab Representatives. The Green Labs Representative then takes the survey (link below) and works to have at least 50% of lab members complete the survey. Upon completion of the survey, a UAB Green Labs Representative will then contact the lab to schedule a visit to go over the results of the assessment, including lab strengths and challenges in sustainable efforts as well as potential rebates the lab may use. The lab then completes the survey again after 6 months and receives a rating based on how well suggested changes were implemented during that period. If the lab successfully puts suggested changes in place, it will receive certification as listed below: 40-49% of changes, Green Lab certification 50-59% of changes, Bronze certification 60-69% of changes, Silver certification 70-79% of changes, Gold certification 80% or more of changes, Platinum Certification UAB Green Labs works towards the aforementioned specific initiatives by interacting with individuals labs through their participation in the program. UAB Green Labs not only provides stickers for researchers reminding them to shut the sash, but we also provide researchers with outlet timers for equipment, stickers reminding researchers to turn equipment off when not in use, and cutting lights off in support rooms. The UAB Green Labs Program provides free freezer maintenance for laboratories: we replace freezer filters, clean freezer coils, and provide a laminated freezer maintenance policy for labs. UAB Green Labs works to conserve water by providing researchers with a waterless condenser so they can determine whether or not a waterless condenser could substitute traditional condensers in their research. UAB Green Labs also encourages researchers to place maintenance requests to install low-flow aerators in the sinks. We also encourage researchers to put lab glassware in soak bins rather than running water to rinse them off. To conserve energy and water, we also remind researchers to run autoclaves only when full. We encourage researchers to change their protocols to reduce chemical usage and waste. We are running a pilot program for researchers to safely "trade" chemicals before they expire. UAB Green Labs also uses the same pilot program for researchers to reuse appliances and equipment that aren't utilized (to prevent overpurchasing) and we encourage researchers to purchase items with an ACT Label. UAB Green Labs trains labs and researchers on how to properly implement sustainable lab techniques in the lab. We teach labs how to recycle lab materials, utilize our surplus warehouse, how to properly use equipment efficiently, proper placement of equipment to best work with the HVAC system, among other initiatives.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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